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Forensic Review of Abuse Amongst Elderly

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Exploitation of the elderly is a worldwide problem of human rights and public health. Currently at  least  2.7%  of  older  adults  world-wide experience physical violence, and that percentage is expected to increase annually.

Abuse concept includes 5 types: physical, psychological,  and  sexual  abuse, neglect,  and  financial  exploitation. Physical violence may result in bodily injury, pain, and function loss in the victim and is defined as deliberate use of physical force likely to result in trauma, bodily injury, pain, or impairment. A study published in the Turkish Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery showed pioneering efforts to evaluate mechanisms and sociodemographic features of physical violence targeting the elderly in Turkey, and to investigate preventive measures.

Database records and forensic reports were analysed in the study of 54 elderly patients with trauma as result of physical violence who were admitted to emergency department. Data including sociodemographic  features  (age/sex)  of  the  individuals,  means  of admission (private vehicle/ambulance), trauma mechanism, injured body area, perpetrator identified by the patient, diagnosis, past history of violence, severity of trauma, treatment result, and place where injury took place, were collected and entered  into  spreadsheet.

Of the 54 patients evaluated, 50 (92.4%) were male and 4 (7%) were female. History of experiencing previous violence was described by 55.6% (n=30) of the patients. Instances of repeat violence and firearm injuries most often occurred in the home (p=0.006, p=0.007). Need for surgical treatment was also greater among cases that occurred in the home (p=0.016).

The study showed that firearm injury, recurrent violence, and surgical treatment rates were higher among cases that occurred in the home. The results reflect that urgent preventive measures are especially needed for the elderly who have already been victims of physical violence.

For the full journal article see the reference below:
Ozturk, Y. K. (2016). Physical Violence Among Elderly: Analysis of Admissions to an Emergency Department. Turkish Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery. doi:10.5505/tjtes.2016.90457